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Prisons boss Michael Spurr excoriated by POA conference delegates

ANGRY prison officers slammed prisons boss Michael Spurr in person at a conference today where he was handed an empty box for his “false promises” by union national chair Mark Fairhurst.

Frustrated delegates at the Prison Officers’ Association meeting strongly criticised the chief executive of HM Prison and Probation Service after having condemned his £20,000 bonus as “blood money” the day before.

Prison staff queued up to make a deluge of complaints against Mr Spurr over his poor handling of workplace discipline, his dedication to implementing cuts, his lack of concern for injured staff and his systemic failure in retaining experienced workers.

Mr Spurr had walked to the podium amid silence before he told delegates that he had raised concerns with government ministers about cuts and rising violence in prisons.

Delegates from a London prison, who cannot be named, told the Morning Star that they walked out of Mr Spurr’s talk after his consistent refusal to engage with their union branch and his refusal to take their advice about prison operations and staff retention.

POA national chair Mr Fairhurst congratulated Mr Spurr on his bravery in attending the conference, but condemned his silence on government spending cuts imposed on prisons.

Addressing Mr Spurr, he said: “It wouldn’t be so bad if you spoke out in the media, saying enough is enough, give us enough to do our job.

“But you didn’t listen to this union about cuts or our experiences.

“You didn’t listen to us about increasing the pay scales or about an incompetent governor.”

He also accused Mr Spurr of “promoting failure” in the job and told him to apologise for “your ignorance, your inaction and your total failure of this proud service.”

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